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In Hitler's Bunker: A Boy Soldier's Eyewitness Account of the Fuhrer's Last Days Hardcover – January 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"Lehmann gives a convincing feeling of the nightmare scenario in the bunker."--London Times Sunday Supplement

"A moving tribute to the ability of the human spirit to rise above everything that seeks to destroy it and testimony to the passionate pursuit of peace."--The Morning Star

From the Back Cover

During the last ten days of Hitler's Berlin, thirty thousand German teenagers perished defending their beloved Fuhrer in the Allied onslaught. Armin Lehmann was one of the few boy soldiers who escaped the bloodbath. Like every other member of the Hitler Youth, Lehmann would have gladly given his life for his leader. But he was not to be sacrificed to the enemy at the gate. Instead, he was chosen to serve in the German High Command's bunker complex. It was a stroke of fate that brought him into the company of the most notorious and bizarre Nazis of Hitler's hated Reich: Bormann, Himmler, Göbbels, and, of course, the Führer himself.
When Hitler greeted Lehmann with a friendly tug on the cheek, the sixteen-year-old boy knew he had been granted a unique part in history. And as Germany braced itself for a bloody Gotterdammerung, a horrific drama of Wagnerian proportions unfolded before his young eyes. In Hitler's Bunker is a fascinating vision of the Nazi apocalypse that combines Lehmann's eyewitness account with what is known to have occurred. It is also the story of how his unquestioning fanaticism won him that role in the final act of the Third Reich. It takes
us back to his boyhood and the brutal SA officer father who instilled the Nazi's hateful creed in his son, and follows Lehmann's odyssey through the ranks of the Hitler Youth, joining when he was only ten and winning two Iron Crosses for his bravery in battle. It is the story of how Lehmann gradually realized the full horror of his unquestioning participation, and his quest for the truth that took him in the footsteps of Mahatma Ghandi and to a meeting with Albert Schweitzer. Above all, In Hitler's Bunker is the story of how one man came to discover a past he had lived through but not seen, and how he came to deal with his regrets.
Armin D. Lehmann, after his experiences in Hitler's Germany, was arrested by the U.S. military and underwent the "denazification" process. After a career in the travel industry, he moved to the United States and has become an outspoken pacifist and peacemaker.
Tim Carroll is a British newspaper journalist and television producer. He is also the author of The Great Escapers and Woody's Women.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592285783
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592285785
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,767,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By CAB Sanders on March 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
At first sight, just another "I Saw Hitler`s Bunker" book - this is in fact a much broader memoir written by a witness to the fall of Berlin in 1945.

Written many years later and published in 2004, this memoir covers the period between 1928 and 1945, during the rise and subsequent fall of the Third Reich.

Armin Lehmann was, in April 1945 a 16 year old member of the Hitler Youth involved in those events - he had recently been involved in actions near Breslau, during which he was awarded the Iron Cross Class 2. During the battle for Berlin he was employed as a "runner" (courrier)carrying messages between Hitler`s headquarters and a variety of German units already doomed by the massive Soviet assault on the German Capital.

His book starts with a description of his childhood and upbringing in Silesia and schooling in the State system of the 1930`s. His relations with his mother and grandmother are warm and constructive, in contrast to his father, an early member of the SS, which are cold and unfriendly.

In January 1945 he abandons a basic military training course and returns to his Hitler Youth unit in the North, which is assigned to the defence of a village near Breslau. He is wounded but nevertheless provides assistance to other casualties and is awarded the Iron Cross (Class 2). On 20 April 1945 he is called to the Fuhrer`s birthday celebration in Berlin to be presented to Hitler, in company with 25 or so other SS and HJ members.

Subsequently appointed a courrier, with a motor bike driver, his missions take him around the decreasing area around Berlin with messages and orders from the High Commmand to the hotch-potch of German units still resisting the Soviet advance into the centre of Berlin.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Pilon on September 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Okay the good part, it is written very clearly in an easy to read way and adds some color to a fascinating time period. The bad part, I think this writer watched "Downfall" and copied a ton of what was said and shown in there and then added a little bit of his experiences that he could remember. There is no way some 15 year old kid knew what was being said in Hitler's situation conferences, thoughts of the top tier of the NSDAP party members, who was sleeping with whom and so on. There is a lot of filler in this to get enough material for a book here.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mariano Vassalluzzo on June 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Armin was 16 years old when he started serving as a military mailman under the orders of Artur Axmann, a fanatic nazi who was the Reich Youth Leader and was very close to Hitler, during the last days of the Nazi Regime in Berlin. Armin's trivial military position in that crucial historic moment made him an outstanding witness of the wild frezny lived in Hitler's Bunker, the surroundings of the Wilhelmstrasse and the outskirts of Berlin immediately before the Russian occupation of the Nazi captital.

The author makes a lively, absorbing and shocking account of how he and his friend Hannes, another young military mailman, drove in a motorcycle around the streets of Berlin in order to deliver the last military messages of the Nazi leadership to the front lines (or what was left of them). During this description, Armin makes a wonderful job by transmiting the sense of confusion, terror and misery he and Hannes felt in the battle zones, the same feelings any private or civilian must have felt in any combat zone during those crazy times.

He combines this lively account of his personal struggle with the events occurring inside Hitler's Bunker. I will not anticipate what were Hitler, the Goebbles and other nazi authorities doing in that "comfortable shelter" during those last days, but be prepared for some real-life insane behaviours!

I believe the combination of Armin's personal experiencies in the war, with the not less astonishing history inside Hitler's Bunker, is what makes this book so intense and dynamic.

More than once, you will experience a kind of dreadful, intolerable pitty for the Nazi Party Bastards who were all of the sudden a revealing a human, and sometimes even compassionate, side.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard Lester on September 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In Hitler's Bunker, Armin Lehmann provides riveting details of his epic life story. We learn of Adolf Hitler's doctrine of hate and how he injected political poison into the mind of every German child living in the Third Reich.

Armin Lehmann was one of them.

Armin's epic journey began with a descent into the horror of world war. At 16 years old, he experienced bloody combat on the Eastern Front, and he sustained serious wounds.

Yet his Fuehrer demanded more of this boy-soldier.

Armin's journey to the deepest recesses of hell was complete when, by a quirk of fate, he entered the Fuehrer's bunker to become one of Hitler's last couriers.

Epic journeys end on an uplifting note, however, and so it was with Armin.

Learning of the Holocaust shortly after turning 17, Armin's moral compass led him away from the Fuerer he so faithfully served. Totally rejecting Hitler and Nazi doctrine, especially anti-semitism, Armin chose to build a new belief system in which he could work for a better world.

Armin Lehmann became a peacemaker, traveling to more than 150 countries to deliver his message of compassion and understanding to all who would listen.

An amazing outcome, especially after reading this horrific account of a German teenager whose fate it was to witness Hitler's last days and live to tell about it.

In Hitler's Bunker is a "must read" for anyone interested in World War II.
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